The grieving family of a 12-year-old who commissioned an Uber to a site where she ended up dying by suicide is holding the company accountable.
Despite the fact that the ride hailing service has a policy that prohibits minors to get rides alone, 12 year old Benita "BB" Diamond was picked up by an Uber at night in January. She went to a parking garage and sadly, jumped to her death.
The family believes that Benita downloaded the Uber app on her mothers phone while she was asleep. She paid for the ride using a gift card that she had received. Despite the policy of Uber to check the I.D. of clients that appear to be underage, Benita was able to get a ride without any difficulties at all.
The family held a press conference where they discussed the death of their daughter, and demanded that the ride-sharing service take responsibility and make changes to prevent this from ever happening again. Lisha Chen and Ronald Diamond aren't looking for financial restitution, but what they are looking for is a change in Uber's practices.
At the press conference, Diamond referred to the suicide note that they found, stating:
"In her letter she said ... that she thought she would get more hassle getting an Uber ride... The second thing she said is basically that 'I'm past the point of no return now.' Uber took my daughter past the point of no return, they drove her there."
The family is hoping that the company changes their policies to help protect the safety of underage children. Their daughter was able to get a ride far too easily in the middle of the night, something that should have never happened. The family claims that unlike many of Uber's other policies, the one about transporting minors doesn't have a clearly defined consequence for drivers.
Ultimately, the family is unsure why this happened. They describe their daughter as a bright girl who loved piano and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
According to a spokesperson for Uber, the company is investigating the incident. They claim that drivers and account holders can lose access to the service if there are reports of underage riders.
If someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is help available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides support around the clock and is free and confidential.